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Parents teach Body Image Stereotypes to their Toddlers

December 16th, 2005

Parents teach Body Image Stereotypes to their Toddlers

Parents believe boys don't eat enough

A research project at a Florida State University believes that parents are teaching body image stereotypes to children with they are toddlers.  Having the “right” body type was a boy that was not to skinny and a girl that was slender. 

A study co-authored by Psychology Professor, Thomas Joiner, with graduate student Jill Holm-Denoma and post-doctoral student Ainhoa Otamendi reported in the International Journal of Eating Disorders was conducted with the help of scientists at the Oregon Research Institute and Wesleyan University.


The researchers interviewed parents by questionnaire about how they perceived their child’s body shape and eating habits.  Depending on the gender of the child, parents reported certain types of eating behaviors.  The parents worried that their 3 year old sons were underweight and believed that their daughters ate enough food and their sons did not.  What was interesting is the body mass index of the boys were almost the same. 


The boys worried about the boys not eating enough or weighing enough.  Researchers say that the depending on the child’s gender will determine how we observe their weight with potential problems when the child gets older.

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By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Books about Eating Disorders at Amazon 

Common keywords and misspellings: childhood toddler overweight underweight too skinny too fat children gain weight child lose weight


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